State

Vendor begins checks of Ill. Medicaid eligibility

CHICAGO — Illinois officials have announced the launch of an effort to make sure only people who are eligible receive Medicaid.

Medicaid is a state and federal program that helps pay for health care for the poor and disabled. The goal of the new project is to verify annually the income levels and residency of the state's 2.7 million Medicaid clients.

An outside vendor started the work Wednesday. Reston, Va.-based Maximus Inc. was hired to improve the system, eliminate a backlog and make recommendations to state caseworkers.

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos says annual verification can determine whether people's circumstances have changed and they're no longer eligible.

Republican legislative leaders have said that Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has taken too long to get the project under way.

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